KARACHI: Documents purported to be property of the London police surfaced on social media late Friday, suggesting that a senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader had disclosed the party's alleged links to India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency during an interview with British authorities.
Three pages of text, some of it censored with what appears to be black ink, purport to reveal party leader Tariq Mir as saying that MQM had New Delhi's support and that supremo Altaf Hussain received funding from India.
"Mr H was getting money from India. H got his money from different sources [blocked text]," the document which appears to be the property of Edgeware Police Station reads.
|Page 1 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
It is unclear where the documents originated and who released them online. Upon being approached for a comment on the documents' veracity, the Metropolitan Police's press office told Dawn.com that it could not comment on people who have been interviewed.
Meanwhile, a London-based reporter associated with Geo News tweeted that Mir has refused to comment on the document.
Mir allegedly spoke to London police at the Edgware police station in May 2012, the document says, adding that he "attended voluntarily and was not under arrest".
“The Indian government supported us because they thought it was good to support us [blocked text]. I don’t remember when I first met the Indians. I did meet them," it reads, quoting an individual TM, believed to be Mir.
“They were from the Indian Intelligence Agency (RAW) as I understood. Research and Analysis Wing. The senior man was high up and had access to senior/prime minister level,” it reads, quoting TM.
Regarding possible funding by RAW, TM says he did not remember how much money was asked for, however, says I think it was US $1.5 million”.
|Page 2 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
“First meeting was probably in Rome. [blocked text] Meetings were [blocked text] whenever they wanted to meet,” the document quotes TM as saying.
“We were sure that Indians didn’t reveal their actual names to us,” he added.
|Page 3 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
TM says that only four persons knew about this, as "we did not want it to come out that MQM was receiving funds from Indians".
“It was very secret.”
|Page 4 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
"The head man used to come; there were four men from India in all. The number two person was changed. The meeting did not last long; chit chat; they wanted to know what was going on generally in Pakistan politics..."
|Page 5 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
Responding to a question as to whether people were sent to Pakistan for weapons training, TM said, "I knew nothing about it. I heard of people being sent for weapons training."
When asked whether Indians were providing MQM with money with a view to supporting civil unrest in Pakistan and create a separate state in Karachi, TM said: "[blocked text] We sent people to India to have weapons training for self defence."
The document also quotes TM as saying: "I agree that MQM have been involved in tit for tat killings and violence. For example there [blocked text] that MQM people were involved in killings."
|Page 6 of statement allegedly given by MQM leader to London police.|
Answering whether the party was involved in guns, IEDs, explosives, to further its political position, TM said, "I cannot say that we have killing teams but there are people [blocked text] There are people who would get involved in unauthorised violence that is not sanctioned and would be displaced, chucked out of the party."
Rabita Committee says MQM looking into "fabricated statements"
MQM's Rabita Committee has termed these statements generated in the name of Tariq Mir as part of "an ongoing media trial of the party".
The committee said it was investigating what it called "fabricated statements", adding that the party's legal team was in touch with concerned British agencies on the matter.
Earlier, an MQM spokesman had told Dawn.com that Mir has had a long association with the party and was a former member of the Rabita Committee. He further confirmed that Mir was still associated with the party.
"We are aware of some documents circulating online that claim to be transcripts from an interview with an MQM official; we have nothing to add at this time,” the spokesman had said earlier.
Earlier this week, a BBC report had claimed that MQM has received funding from Indian authorities. According to the report which quotes an unnamed "authoritative Pakistani source", MQM officials told UK authorities that they received funds from New Delhi.
The report added that UK authorities investigating MQM for alleged money laundering also found a list of weapons in a property associated with the party.
The report said British authorities held formal recorded interviews with senior MQM officials who told them the party was receiving Indian funding.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain had also been briefly arrested in London in connection with an investigation in a money laundering case and is currently on bail.
The probe started after the Metropolitan Police discovered ‘a considerable amount of money’ during raids on the MQM chief’s residence and office in London.
The police had at the time said that the cash was found when a counter-terrorism unit raided Hussain’s office on Dec 6, 2012, under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in connection with the investigation of Dr Imran Farooq's murder.
Two more raids were carried out in as many houses in north London on June 18, 2013 and again a considerable amount of cash was seized.